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August Chief's Concerns

U.S. Air Force 169th Fighter Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Shepherd, from the South Carolina Air National Guard at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee R. Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force 169th Fighter Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Shepherd, from the South Carolina Air National Guard at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee R. Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Am I relevant? Am I ready? Am I resilient? The outcome of every opportunity you encounter in life will come down to those three questions. Some people think luck plays a role in achieving or succeeding. Webster's dictionary defines luck as, "A purposeless, unpredictable and uncontrollable force that shapes events favorably or unfavorably for an individual, group or cause". If you believe luck plays a significant role in achieving and succeeding, I am sure luck has treated you unfavorably. The old adage, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity," is one of the best ways to describe the favorable attributions of luck. When you make yourself relevant, when you make yourself ready and you make yourself resilient, you will make yourself successful.

Relevance is important in your personal life. Ask yourself, "Do I engage in or help plan family activities? Do I involve my family and friends in important decisions? Do family and friends ask for my help or council?" If the answer is no, then you have some preparation to do to be successful in your personal life. The great thing about understanding how to be relevant in personal life is no different than what you need to be working on in your professional life. Do I engage in activities that support the objectives of my work center? Am I a team player? Am I a team builder? Do I ask for help from my fellow Airman? Being relevant is not a onetime event; it is a never-ending journey of using your education, training and professional development to the benefit of a broader cause.

Ready is the easiest to understand but the most time consuming to achieve. Webster's dictionary defines Ready as, "Immediately available, prepared for immediate use, prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action." Ask yourself how long does it take you to do basic things you have done your entire life just to leave the house. Examples: laundry, shower, dress, etc. In order to have a higher standard of readiness, we need to be ready to leave the country and operate in sometimes austere conditions.

We are constantly preparing and making ourselves ready, examples include, medical, dental, physical fitness, job qualifications, ancillary training and equipment readiness. If we are not ready, we're not just late for work; the entire nation is at risk.

Webster's dictionary defines Resilient as, "Able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, and bent." Becoming resilient may seem like a difficult task, but I would argue if you make the effort for "relevant" and "ready", you are two-thirds of the way to being resilient. The last third way to prepare for resilience is having a strong belief system. We have an institutional set of core values to help center us and most also have a spiritual belief. Family and community support are the other tools we use to help us return to our original shape.

If you make Relevant, Ready and Resilient part of your daily agenda, you are preparing yourself for success and demonstrating commitment to your family, state and nation. Remember you are a member of the Air National Guard. We are the proven choice for the war fight. We are the enduring choice for state partnerships, foreign and domestic. We are the first choice for homeland defense. We are always on mission.